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Microsoft formally (and finally) launched its search engine on Monday. What happens now? Of course the market will tighten to some degree. Keynote Systems found that Google had lost some share. But other studies continue to show Google's dominance. In order to really "close the gap" on Google (and Yahoo!), MSN will need to really offer consumers something different and better. That will be difficult from a technology standpoint. (Interestingly, MSN has pushed local front and center as something of a differentiator.)

More interesting in some ways is whether MSN will agressively market search to consumers and how Google and Yahoo! (which has been marketing search for some time) will respond. Reuters quoted MSN's Yusuf Mehdi, saying MSN "would market its search engine through a marketing campaign directed at online users as well as television viewers."

Say, isn't the Super Bowl coming up?

Danny Sullivan has more at Search Engine Watch.

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